So you got some of this stuff in your share this week, and you’re probably wondering how to use it. Have no fear! I’m here to help.
Saltbush is a plant that was used a lot by the Native Americans. They used the stems to make dyes, the seeds to make an oatmeal-like porridge, but most of all, they used the leaves in their cooking. (http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/saltbush.htm) It is a great way to add a healthy source of salt to your dish without a sodium bomb. Not only does it have many uses in the kitchen, but it is a very hearty plant! It is native to California, so you may even have a bush growing in your vicinity without even knowing it! It is also drought resistant and non-invasive. With California in the depths of the worst drought in 500 years, we could all benefit from utilizing these types of resources.
The leaves have a salty taste, and they are very hearty, so there are a lot of uses for them. Looking for some ideas for using them? I like to use mine in:
It has a very mellow salty flavor, so don’t be afraid to use a good amount. Think of it as a hearty herb. It’s great raw or cooked down. One of my favorite ways to use it is with some sauteed kale. The two greens work very nicely together.
- 2 handfuls of kale
- Saltbush (depends how salty you like it, so feel free to start small and add more)
- 1/2 lemon
- 1 tbsp olive oil
Start with throwing your kale in a skillet on medium heat. Drizzle the oil over the top, squeeze some lemon over the greens (start small, a little goes a long way!), and add your saltbush. Saute all ingredients together until the kale is tender and cooked through, being careful not to burn the kale.
That’s it! What a gloriously simple and versatile dish, isn’t it? I like to serve mine for breakfast with some sauteed sweet potatoes and a couple strips of bacon or some breakfast sausage (pictured). It’s also great as a side dish to steak or chicken.